“He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. They would not be like their forefathers—-a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him.” (Psalm78:5–8)
Here the psalmist prayed that the commandments and actions of the Lord would be studied and communicated to the next generation in the home. Only in this manner can children be led to put their trust in the Lord and obey His teachings. No generation becomes Christian at birth; rather each individual must learn to love and obey God.
Parental love and teaching is the biblical model to lead children to God. No other institution can be more effective than the home. The sermons and Bible teaching at church, should support what is being taught in the home. God’s covenant demands grow out of His loving, saving deeds. These deeds reveal to us we can trust Him and His goodness, always.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, You have taught us that it is never too late to teach Your commands to our children and grandchildren at home, what should also be taught in the church through biblical scripture, sermons, and especially in the way we act and interact with other human beings. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Is God your spare wheel or your steering wheel?”
“The king stood by his pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—-to follow the Lord and keep his commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book. Then he had everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin pledge themselves to it; the people of Jerusalem did this in accordance with the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the Lord, the God of their fathers.” (2nd Chronicles34:31–33)
Josiah represents an example of one in a leadership role who took seriously the matter of high personal and community standards. Because of he intensity and seriousness of his commitment to renewed application of God’s standards for his life, others followed his example.
Our society, unlike Josiah’s, is not one in which “as the king does, so goes the community.” Yet, ours is like Josiah’s in that authenticity of word and life-style can be strong communicators of God’s truth and have a definite affect on the whole community.
“’They said to me, ‘Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down and its gates have been burned with fire.’ When I heard these things (Nehemiah), I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. Then I said: ‘W Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, Let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.’” (Nehemiah 1:3-7)
When Nehemiah heard about the remnant in Jerusalem and in such dire needs, in almost literally broke his heart. Its affect on him was so profound, that as cup bearer to king Artaxerxes, he went before the kind reflecting his profound sadness about his peoples state in Jerusalem. His prayer to God was to remind Him of His promise of taking care of those who were obedient to Him. In response, God sent Nehemiah to be the emissary of the pagan king, to his own people, providing monetary help, building supplies, trees, and many other things to rebuild Jerusalem, and in the process, to rebuild the faith of the people in God. Often God will hear a prayer for help and use the person praying the prayer, as the one to respond as one to lead people, etc., to respond to the need. Have you ever prayed a similar prayer? How did God use you to respond to the need?
SECOND THOUGHT of the DAY:
“With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. ‘Those who are wise will instruct many, thought for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. When hey fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not since will join them. Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of he end, for it will still come at the appointed time.” (Daniel11:32-35)
Apocalyptic teachings call for God’s people to be faithful to His covenant, resist those who oppose it, and accept tribulation as an instrument of moral purification.
Daniel saw the death and martyrdom of so many pious leaders as bringing about the refining, purifying, and making spotless of God’s people for the end times. That is a good way to describe the process of sanctification. Sanctification refines, purifies, and cleanses us. The holy examples of others challenge us to stronger commitment to God’s way of life. Understand?